Madness in Irish Starting: Jockeys Managing Things at the Important Leopardstown Hunt Meeting, Daily Racing Form, 1922-04-16


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I , i £ a I 1 i I 1 * : I I I I ; 1 I I I I I I MADNESS IN IRISH STARTING Jockeys Managing Things at the Important Lcopardstown Hunt Meeting. In Ireland in races in which the barrier is not used the starters lot is not always happy one. In writing about the Leopards-town Handicap Steeplechase, run in December, the Dublin correspondent of the London Sportsman put it this way : "For the first time in my forty years racing experience I saw the jockeys taking charge of the start of a race, the occasion being the Leopardstown Handicap Steeplechase. There were twenty-one at the post, and they had no sooner gathered there than a majority of the jockeys commenced to indulge in get-quickly-off tactics by rushing their horses away with the obvious intention of flustering the starter. Not once, but probably half a dozen times, were such tactics pursued ; but if the starter. Major Blenner-hassett. had handled the situation with firmness and decision, we should not have had so undignified a display. Of course, the riders were to blame for beginning the business, but had the official suitably admonished a couple of them when he saw what their objective was he would quickly have brought them, and those who afterward imitated their tactics, to heel. Instead he temporized, moving up a little from the place where he had taken his stand to start the race, in the hope that he would catch his field in line, and so be able to send them off. That was a wholly mistaken policy, for he should have insisted that the jockeys come to him instead of letting them see that he was prepared to go to them. "In the end the situation became so farcical that the stewards of the day went on to the course, took up a position in front of the field, and. with much hand waving, and, as I presumed, many cautions, eventually got the runners back to the place appointed for the start, and the despatch was then effected. I had never seen any of our jockeys managing the start before, and I admit that I was most pleased to hear when the stewards had had a certain number of them up after the race that two were censured by being put down for the rest of the racing and reported to the Irish ruling committee, while nine others were lined 5 each for disobedience."

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